The technologies of model-based design and dependability analysis in the design of dependable systems, including software intensive systems, have advanced in recent years. Much of this development can be attributed to the application of advances in formal logic and its application to fault forecasting and verification of systems. In parallel, work on bio-inspired technologies has shown potential for the evolutionary design of engineering systems via automated exploration of potentially large design spaces. We have not yet seen the emergence of a design paradigm that combines effectively and throughout the design lifecycle these two techniques which are schematically founded on the two pillars of formal logic and biology. Such a design paradigm would apply these techniques synergistically and systematically from the early stages of design to enable optimal refinement of new designs which can be driven effectively by dependability requirements. The paper sketches such a model-centric paradigm for the design of dependable systems that brings these technologies together to realise their combined potential benefits.